Many users of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system has often faced this particular issue where Windows displays a Critical error which says: Start menu and Cortana aren’t working and prompts the user to sign out. Like other Windows errors this may go away once you restart your PC. But unfortunately for many users that is not the case. The error message just keeps coming and there seems to be no obvious way to stop this.
Though it is a very widespread issue among Windows 10 users, there has been no official report on why this critical error occurs. However, in most of the cases the problem is actually resolvable. Follow the steps described below to fix Start menu and Cortana aren’t working critical error.
Steps to fix Critical error with the start menu and Cortana
Step 1: Update Windows
The first step is to check for windows updates. You can do this by finding Windows Update in the Control Panel. This will most probably solve the issue.
Step 2: Uninstall your security program
If Step 1 hasn’t solved your problem, then uninstall your security program. Then restart the PC. If the error no longer comes back, choose a different security program for your computer.
Step 3: Change your account
(a) First, try to sign out of your current Windows PC account (where the Start menu and Cortana aren’t working critical error showed up). Now sign back in. Often this will solve the problem.
(b) Secondly, you can add a new account to your PC. To open a new account, open the ms-settings by typing this in the Run box. You can bring out the Run box by pressing Windows key + R key. Then go to the Accounts. In Your Accounts you will see an option to add other users. Choose I don’t have sign in info and then you can add a new user without a Microsoft Account. Next, in Other users, you need to change the new account to be an administrator. Finally, log in to this new account. If the Start menu and Cortana functions normally, copy data from your previous account to this one and delete the previous account form your PC.
Step 4: Start Windows in Safe mode
You can start Windows 10 in safe mode. Just while clicking Restart, press and hold the Shift key. This will lead Windows to Recovery mode. Next, follow this: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Now, press 5. Your PC will enter into Safe mode. Once you are in the Safe mode, restart your PC normally. This will often solve the problem with Start menu and Cortana, but it may not permanently remove the problem.
Step 5: Reset your system
If none of the above methods work then you must follow this last step. Go to the Troubleshoot menu as shown in Step 5. Now click on Reset this PC > Keep my files. Note that this step will not remove any personal data, but all your settings and installed apps will be lost.
At least the final step should fix the Start menu and Cortana aren’t working critical error. By the way, if your PC came with an older version of Windows (and you later upgraded to Windows 10) then you can also go back to your previous OS from Reset this PC menu. Though, this option is not available in all computers.
Video tutorial For Critical Error in Start menu